Professional dartboards do have metal on them. The metal is known as the dartboards spider which is used to separate the segments on a dartboard. The material your board is made of can affect the way you play especially if you’re competing, and you’ll want your boards to be as close as possible to the real thing.
They are generally made from a variety of materials, including sisal and steel fibers, that allow them to catch darts, and self-heal once the darts are removed.
In order to choose the dartboard that works best for you, you’ll have to consider a few different factors, including what it’s made of, what you’re using it for, and what your budget looks like. In this guide, we’ll go through what kind of boards the professionals use, and how to find the dartboard that’s perfect for you.
What Kind of Dartboards Do Professionals Use?
The most common kind of dartboard, which you’ll recognize from pubs and professional competitions, is the bristle dartboard. The major advantage of these boards is that they’re self-healing, with fibers that will spring back into place once you remove the dart. There are a couple of other types of dartboards too, including:
Our favorite pick for a high quality dartboard is this Winmau bristle dartboard. Winmau is endorsed by the British Darts Organization and will last for years if you regularly rotate and clean your dartboard.
- Paper Dartboards: These are usually the cheapest dartboards available, and they are made of compressed paper. Their low price comes from the cheap material used, as well as the simpler manufacturing process. Be careful with these, though, because they are usually of lower quality and wear out much more quickly than other kinds.
- Plastic Dartboards: Plastic boards are made to be safer than the professional kind, so they’re perfect if you have a game room where your kids like to play. These boards generally have hundreds of tiny plastic hairs that allow you to play with soft-tipped darts. These can be a bit pricier, but they’re a great way to introduce kids to the game.
- Cork Dartboards: This is an older type of dartboard that you may have seen as a decoration item. After the advance that’s been made with bristle dartboards, these cork ones are less widely available and mostly used as novelty items.
- Wooden Dartboards: Another older method of making dart boards. These boards can be extremely durable, but unlike bristle boards, they require regular and careful maintenance. They need to be moisturized on a regular basis, and the maintenance can get expensive. Wooden boards remain popular for their nostalgic value among enthusiasts willing to put in the work for a beautiful board.
What Are Professional Dart Boards Made Of?
Professional dartboards are made from a material you may not expect: sisal fibers. These are fibers that come from the agave plant and are somewhat similar to hemp fibers.
There is a common myth that dartboards are made of horse or camel hair, but this is not true. Although it may look like hair, sisal fibers are used because of their many useful properties.
Sisal fibers are stiff enough to keep the darts in place when they hit the board, but also flexible enough that they will spring back into place once you remove the dart. It’s also more durable and likely to last longer than some other materials.
Professional dartboards also use a couple of other materials, including paper, glue, and steel that are used throughout the process of putting the board together.
How Are Professional Dartboards Made?
Step 1: Biscuits: In your standard professional dartboard, the sisal fibers are braided together to create thicker strands. These bundled fibers are compressed into paper-covered tubes and made into pieces known as “biscuits.”
Step 2: Steel: The biscuits are then put together, and held in place by bands of steel. This is the only time that metal is used in professional dartboards, and sometimes these bands are covered with a leather-like material as well.
Step 3: Shaping the board: Once the biscuits are put together, they are glued onto a wooden backboard. The sisal is then compressed in order to achieve the perfect round shape of the finished dartboard. The board is then sanded to smooth the surface and get rid of any loose fibers coming out of the biscuits.
Step 4: Finishing touches: Once the shape of the board is finished, it is then screen printed to make the surface clean and ready for use. Finally, the board is wired, and the number ring is installed.
Looking at this process, you can see how far dartboard technology has come from the older, simple cork dartboards to these new ones that provide a much better playing experience with a board that works better and lasts longer.
What Is the Best Material for a Dartboard?
It depends on what you’re using it for. Now that you have all the information on the different types of dartboards, and how professional dartboards are made, you can go about choosing the one that’s best for you.
Your first consideration will be the material, as this will narrow down the type of board you buy. If you have kids, a plastic board will be the way to go. If you’re just looking to try out the game, you may want to get a cheaper paper board. If you’re looking to practice your skills and get more competitive, the bristle board is a good standard.
Once you choose the type of board you’re looking for, you’ll still have a variety of options of different brands and specific boards to buy. They generally range in price and quality, and you may want to decide which board to buy based on your experience level, and how serious you are about practicing.
Here Are a Few Of Our Favorites:
- Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard: This board was rated best of the best by the Best Reviews, and is a good board whether you’re a casual player or a practicing professional. It is staple-free and has thin wiring, which reduces bounce-outs and provides for a smoother game.
- TG Champion Tournament Bristle Dartboard: This board is on the cheaper side, so it’s great for beginners. It’s still a bristle board, so although it may not be as high of quality as other models, it’s still a great buy that is likely to last you for a while.
- Viper Razorback Official Competition Dartboard: This board is more in a medium price range, but it’s definitely worth the money. The company is reputable and makes high-quality, durable products that are good for recreational or professional players.
Now that you’ve seen all that goes into making a top-quality dartboard, you can appreciate why it’s so essential to consider your options and find the right one. Whether you’re playing for fun or looking to compete, a good board will enhance your playing experience.
You have a variety of options to choose from, whether it’s different types of boards or different brands. There’s something for everyone, no matter who’s playing, how often, and what your price range is.
With just a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find the best board for you, that lets you up your game, and impress your friends at your next pub night. Or who knows, you may even find yourself becoming a dart professional!